DES MOINES, Iowa Forty years ago, while Mitt Romney served as a missionary in France, black men were not allowed to set foot in a Mormon temple.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints barred black men from the priesthood, which is conferred on virtually all faithful white Mormon men and boys ages 12 and up. As a result, blacks were not allowed to become missionaries, to distribute the Lord's Supper, to have their marriages "sealed for time and eternity" or to serve as elders, bishops, apostles and prophets.
It abandoned those policies in 1978, but not the scriptures that undergirded them. Its teachings will likely become a thorny campaign issue if former Massachusetts Gov. Romney becomes the Republican presidential nominee, Mormon America author Richard Ostling predicted this week.
For more information see today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
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